Here's a great post from Abby on a way to get exercise and get out with the family!
What it is: A local track club with a history dating back to the 70's. If you like to run or are just getting started and would like to meet some new friends, look no further! Godiva track club has all kinds of races and events that bring people together and details are available on their website. My focus today is on their very popular (and family friendly) Summer Track Series. It takes place May through August and begins at 7pm every Wednesday evening at the Belk Track at UNC-Chapel Hill. Having participated for two years myself, I can tell you honestly that it truly is for all-comers. Every size, age, shape, and ability are welcome to participate in the "short" or "long" track nights (alternates weekly). It is incredibly organized (you can record your finishing times at a table near the finish line, and extra Gatorade is always available for those hot summer nights. The 100 and 200 dashes attract a lot of young children, and those races are broken up into several heats, with the youngest going first. Such a joy to watch these little ones tear up the track:) You don't have to be a club member to check it out, the club does request a $1 donation, however. You can sign up on-line anytime to become a Godiva Track Club member!
What we like: Very friendly, knowledgeable, and fun atmosphere. You really can't beat it. I showed up the first time solo, and within minutes had several people happy to answer my questions. Not intimidating at all. If you are a beginner, you can choose to participate in the 1st heat of most events- there are 2nd and 3rd (very fast) heats as well. If speed walking is your thing, they have a walking event each week as well. If you bring your children, they are welcome to participate in the shorter events. I have seen a 3 year old compete happily in the 400, but most young children stay under a 200 distance;) Parking is easy, a parking lot is available right next to the track for free. *Their website contains the specific track event information.
What we would change: Although it would be tough for most families to get there any earlier (and the folks in charge of each Wednesday likely come from their jobs too), the last event can run a bit late- close to 9pm. Most families with little ones leave before the last race. I have brought my children and they love it, but I tend to go solo- it is my night "off" from being mommy! One possible option would be to drive separate from your spouse and have one person leave early with the children.
Website and other important information:
Address: Summer Track Series meets at the Belk Track at UNC-Chapel Hill
304 South Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27599
Dates: Wednesday evenings from May through August. Starts at 7pm (rain or shine).